Monday, July 27th, 2015 | 4 min read
Twitter has always been the platform advertisers turn to when targeting live events. Large sporting events like the Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup regularly break Twitter records – the 2014 World Cup Final peaked at 618,725 Tweets-per-minute.
Until now, the manual process of targeting these events with Promoted Tweets has been complicated and time-consuming. Advertisers had to do their own research on which events to target and when, then put together the right combination of keywords and hashtags. To target events effectively, they also needed to identify users who engage with content associated with the event in the right locations.
Event targeting now automates this entire process. Advertisers can view a calendar of upcoming events, look at historical data such as audience size and demographics, and then target that event with the press of a button.
At launch, Event Targeting includes major global events as well as sporting events, holidays, festivals, TV shows, music and politics in the US, UK, France, Brazil and Japan. Events can be filtered by date, location, or type of event.
Event Targeting can be used in combination with other targeting like gender, language, and device.
Twitter uses a range of identifiers to decide which users to target for each event, including Tweet consumption and engagement data. This means that advertisers can target those who are passively viewing content associated with an event as well as users who are Tweeting and engaging with content.
In beta testing, advertisers saw a 73-110% improvement in engagement targeting Wimbledon tennis championships and The Open golf tournament at St Andrews.
Twitter Events Targeting is available to all as of today.
Instagram is also getting in on the real-time action with its new search feature. Users can now find images from specific events as they are happening. Before this update, Instagrammers could only search by photos, people, or by using hashtags. Now users don’t need to know the right hashtags to search for, and it’s also possible to browse trending places. I think this last sentence makes the distinction clear.
This move could be seen as Facebook-owned Instagram’s attempt to compete more directly with Twitter around real-time events. And, if it is a success, allow brands to target users based on those events in a similar way to Twitter’s Event Targeting.
The feature also has some similarities with Snapchat’s Live Stories. Both group together user generated content from live events and make it really easy for users to get closer to the action or contribute. Instagram could offer brands the chance to Sponsor events similar to how they can on Snapchat.
Instagram has completely overhauled its search features as part of this update, allowing users to zoom into locations on a map and see the most popular and most recent images sent from that location. It’s also possible to search across people, places, and tags all at once. The update is available now.
About the Author: Jamie O’Brien is part of the Sprinklr content team and is based in Singapore. In a previous life, he was a digital art director in London. He likes to get away from the city as often as is humanly possible to snowboard, dive, or hike.